The Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect posted an apparent manifesto repeatedly citing 'Great Replacement' theory

The manifesto includes dozens of pages of antisemitic and racist memes, repeatedly citing the racist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory frequently pushed by white supremacists.

NBC News/May 14, 2022

By Ben Collins

A manifesto apparently written by the suspect in a mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket that killed 10 laid out specific plans to attack Black people and repeatedly cited the “Great Replacement" Theory, the false idea that a cabal is attempting to replace white Americans with non-white people through immigration, interracial marriage and eventually violence.

The manifesto, which appears to be written by 18-year-old Payton Gendron, included a shared birth date and biographical details with the suspect in custody. The PDF was originally posted to Google Docs at 8:55 p.m. Thursday, two days before the shooting, according to file data accessed by NBC News.

Gendron, of Conklin, New York, was arraigned Saturday evening in Buffalo City Court on one count of murder in the first degree, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office said.

He was remanded without bail and a felony hearing was scheduled for Thursday morning, according to the office.

The manifesto, which was not modified since it was posted on Thursday, includes elaborate details of a planned shooting. The document claims the suspect chose Buffalo because it was the city with the highest number of Black people in his vicinity.

Eleven of the 13 people shot at the Tops Friendly Market are Black, police said.

A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that authorities were working to verify the document’s authenticity.

“We are aware of the manifesto allegedly written by the suspect and we’re working to definitively confirm that he is the author,” the law enforcement official said.

The manifesto includes dozens of pages antisemitic and racist memes, repeatedly citing the racist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory frequently pushed by white supremacists, which falsely alleges white people are being “replaced” in America as part of an elaborate Jewish conspiracy theory. Other memes use tropes and discredited data to denigrate the intelligence of non-white people.

In the manifesto, Gendron claims that he was radicalized on 4chan while he was “bored” at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.

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The document also claims “critical race theory,” a recent right-wing talking point that has come to generally encompass teaching about race in school, is part of a Jewish plot, and a reason to justify mass killings of Jews.

In the manifesto, Gendron repeatedly cites Brenton Tarrant, the white supremacist mass shooter who killed 51 people and injured 40 others in a Christchurch, New Zealand mosque in 2019. Like Gendron, Tarrant livestreamed his attack. Tarrant told investigators he was also a frequent visitor to 4chan.

The theory has been cited by several mass shooters since 2018, including Robert Bowers who is charged with killing 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2018, Patrick Crusius who allegedly killed 23 people in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart and John Earnest killed one and injured three others at a Poway, California, synagogue in 2019.

“Great Replacement" theory has recently received support from traditional power centers of the American right. According to an AP-NORC poll released this week, 1 in 3 U.S. adults believe there is an ongoing effort “to replace U.S.-born Americans with immigrants for electoral gains.”

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson has repeatedly pushed “replacement” rhetoric on his show. “I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement,’ if you suggest for the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World,” Carlson said in April of 2021.

Gendron’s attack was livestreamed. Some users of the website 4chan discussed the attack, and at least one archived the video in real-time, releasing photos of dead civilians inside the supermarket over the course of Saturday afternoon.

One video clip from the livestream permeated on extremist sites in the hours after the attack, featuring Gendron’s last two minutes driving to the supermarket, and cutting off as he exits the vehicle outside of the supermarket.

In the document, the suspect said he planned to post his manifesto and links to his livestream to 4chan, to a knockoff of the now-defunct extremist website 8chan, and to servers he frequented on the chat service Discord, in part to see if his livestream was working.

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